Page 45 Review by Stephen
Its about anger as a positive force of creation
Someones remembered what comics are for.
- from the introduction by Warren Ellis
It doesnt get much more pertinent than this. You wait for the next wave of attempts to crack down on the internet.
Before LOCAL, NEW YORK FOUR, NEW YORK FIVE, NORTHLANDERS, DMZ or even this couples DEMO VOL 1 and DEMO VOL 2, there were two CHANNEL ZERO books, damning indictments of Mayor Rudy Giulianis ruthless sanitisation of New York City with the complicity of the corporate media, the post-911 scaremongering and accompanying attacks on such silly civil liberties like privacy and free speech. It must have been enormously frustrating to Brian Wood that they were out of print during the Occupy crackdown during which pensioners were dragged away, bundled into police vans or beaten up.
Good morning. This is WCBC News at Sunrise. Today marks the one year anniversary of the signing of The Clean Act, the event that launched America into its rebirth from sin and its rise to power in the world arena. Parades are planned in major cities, and all citizens are urged to attend church tonight to receive heavenly guidance and uplifting.
In contrast it was six months ago today that the illegal television broadcasts created by the person known as Jennie 2.5 began. Using stolen computer equipment and passwords restricted to government personnel, she routinely breaks onto the airwaves, spreading her filth and communist propaganda.
We have tolerated her actions as a gesture of Christian compassion and forgiveness, as we would all Gods children, but her campaign of terrorism has gone too far. This is not art, citizens. It is not harmless, and it is not legal.
We urge all our viewers to guard against being influenced by the broadcasts, and put your trust in your government to correct the problem.
They havent tolerated Jennies actions, of course; theyve been desperate to nick her. Nice use of the ultra-inflammatory charge of terrorism too. And by nice I dont mean precise. All Jennies doing is breaking into the barefaced lies propagated by the mass media along with its asinine programming designed to tranquilise, and call out to an America so woefully apathetic that it tolerates this assault on their intelligence, settling for second-best and the spoon-fed mediocrity pumped out over its airwaves.
In that respect its like TRANSMETROPOLITAN only without the jokes, the drugs and the comfort of colour, for this is stark as anything, and deliberately low-fi. Its sparse, its succinct, and I love the way Radio Villinokivs feed streams live like ticker-tape across the bottom of the page. Its a remarkable achievement by someone fresh out of Art School, and not only do you get both graphic novels in a single package here, but all the short stories, the original Final Year project, and so many of the satirical posters, as sharp as you like. People forget that Brian Wood is an artist in his own right and a particularly fine designer but when Becky Cloonan comes along for the JENNIE ONE prequel you will not believe she was still at college! (Although, if youve read Beckys MINIS 2000-2002
The high-contrast art comes with the perfect punk aesthetic, Jennies coal-black eyes staring out of the page defiantly. The snow alone is worth the price of admission, eroding the forms it flurries across and reminding me of Frank Millers RONIN. Its the story of an artist radicalised by the very forces attempting to sedate and intimidate the masses. But Jennie quickly discovers she doesnt do intimidated, nor is she easily seduced by those posing as punk but living in relative luxury.
Its a far from predictable read, and the chapter seen from the Cleaners perspective will certainly surprise. I think my favourite moment, however, was the all too predictable behaviour of the networks as Jennie 2.5s four-minute bursts of subversive sabotage prove so popular that they try to figure out how to sell commercial air time for them. Fans of Jonathan Hickmans NIGHTLY NEWS, this ones for you.